Charles Hendry MP's message on 20th Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition

This speech was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

UK Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan delivers a message from the Prime Minister at the openning ceremony of the 20th Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition.

Your Excellency, Distinguished Guests

As the UK Prime Minister’s new Trade Envoy for Azerbaijan, I am delighted to be back in Baku and visiting this spectacular 20th Caspian Oil & Gas Exhibition.

I am honored to be here today to deliver this personal message from the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.

On behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, I would like to congratulate His Excellency President Ilham Aliyev and the people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of the 20th Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition and Conference.

I welcome the continued strong bilateral relationship between our two countries, a relationship that has been built on commercial links. UK companies, many of which are represented here today, are the largest source of foreign direct investment in Azerbaijan, especially into the oil and gas sector.

Azerbaijan’s energy resources will increasingly play a vital role in the European and world economy in the years to come and Azerbaijan has been playing a central role in unlocking those resources for the benefit of all. This is all the more important at a time of continued economic challenge, and I am delighted that BP has been so closely involved in this process.

2013 will be an important year for the realisation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, with the continued development of the world class Shah Deniz field, and a number of key decisions being made on the final pipeline route to Europe. However, much work still needs to be done to realise the full ambition of the Southern Corridor as a route for Central Asian gas to Europe. I am confident that this ambition can become reality.

As a close friend and partner of Azerbaijan, I wish all involved further success in their efforts to provide a stable source of energy for many years to come. I should like to take this opportunity to extend my personal best wishes to all participants in this year’s Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition. I hope you have a successful week”.

Thank you.